Creating a Perfect Compare and Contrast Outline

compare and contrast essay outline

Compare and contrast essays are probably the most common assignments in many American schools and universities. In these essays, you are required to compare two, and sometimes more, problems, ideas, events or things and evaluate their differences as well as resemblances. Through these essays, you can develop your critical thinking, which is the reason why the teachers often ask their students to produce such essays during their academic years.

If you are interested in writing a perfect compare and contrast essay, you need to pay your full attention to creating an outline. By creating a good compare and contrast essay outline, you will put yourself in a position to write an essay that fetches you a good grade.

Here are a few tips to help you write a perfect outline for compare and contrast essays.

• Pay as much attention as you can on introducing your topics. The first paragraph is where you are required to present the basic info about the topics you have selected to compare and contrast. While writing an outline, you should also try to find a thesis statement, which should be mentioned in your first paragraph. This statement is of immense importance because it not only helps you find right evidence to support your viewpoint, but it also allows your reader to understand the info that you're going to present on the topics.
• Before writing the body paragraphs, you need to finalize the structure of compare and contrast essay. It is up to you to decide whether you want to introduce both topics in one paragraph or you want to discuss them separately. Considering the compare and contrast essay structure, you need to find points that fall in line with your thesis statement - you will also have to discuss how the two topics are similar and are related to one another in some ways. In this section, you should make a list of evidence/sources you want to use to support your suppositions. It is better to perform some research in this phase and list any information you find on the first subject of comparison. Then, you should find and list certain points related to the other subject of comparison.
• Finally, you will have to work on the last section of your essay - the conclusion. In your outline, you need to state some important points you have raised in your essay. In this final section, you can give a summary of the evidence you have presented or you can also restate the thesis statement. Here, you may also go on to discuss the significance of the two topics you have compared and contrasted in your essay.


The structure of a compare and contrast essay is not that tricky, but you need to conduct a lot of research because you will be tackling two topics in one essay. Once you have created a compare and contrast essay outline, you will have a map with you to proceed in the right direction. However, you should also bear in mind that an outline is just to keep you on the right track - you have to research a bit more to flesh it out. Many students make a mistake and simply restate the points or the list of information they have found when creating an outline. You should never commit this mistake. The reason is that your tutor wants you to compare and contrast two subjects. What it means is that it's not enough to list these points - you have to elaborate them to make your essay look like a compare and contrast essay. In other words, your essay needs to be analytical or else it will fail to impress your reader.